tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 26 13:49:52 2009

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Re: The topic marker -'e'

Christopher Doty (

I think my phone is screwing up the who said what when bit. Sorry if my answers below are weird...
> If this is true (which I think it is), then -vaD gets used for > anything where an action or object is directed toward something, and

> is thus logically used for indirect objects, but this doesn't limit

> how it is used...  For example:


> tlhIHvaD tIrqi' jaj Quch!!

'oy' jay'! When transliterating, please at least mark the word somehow. 

It took me a moment to realize this meant "turkey," and any beginners 

reading your post may have spent several minutes scratching their heads, 

wondering what *{qi'} meant. :)

ME: Well, how does one mark this? Or is simply using the english word okay in these cases?
But yes, I agree that {-vaD} can be used in this sense, but not with 

this syntax, unless it's clipped in the way DloraH suggested. You 

haven't specified what {tlhIH} is the beneficiary of. It can't be 

{turkey jaj Quch}, because that's a noun phrase, and modifying the 

following noun phrase would be a noun-noun construction with a Type 5 

suffix on the genitive. (The same objection I've had all along.)

ME: But I have specified it. It is the recipient of a a happy turkey day.

I still take issue with saying that a noun with -vaD modifies following nouns. Based on what we know, I don't think this interpretation is ever correct.

Well-wishing and (espeically) toasts in Klingon actually follow special 

grammatical rules, first mentioned in Power Klingon and later explained 

in detail in Klingon for the Galactic Traveler. No matter what the 

sentence, the verb will have {-jaj} and it will always come last, even 

if this violates OVS order. So, as a toast:

    tlhIHvaD turkey jaj Quchjaj!

    May you have a happy turkey day!

    Happy turkey day!

ME: Okay, so I got the final jaj wrong, but this is otherwise just what I said...


In standard Klingon, if it weren't in the context of a toast or the 

like, the sentence would be

    tlhIHvaD Quchjaj turkey jaj!

ME: I'm confused by this, but that might just be because of relatives and not anything about the sentence. I think my confusion is because something like this is always going to be a toast/well-wishing type thing, so this seems odd...

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